FIRST TOWNSITE PLAN.
Former Draftsman's Story.
A plain recital of some of his recollec- tions from boyhood by Mr. J. Hope, a retired Government draftsman, provides a fascinating story for the present day. The recollections date from carly in 1800, and cover Perth's subsequent history, but Mr. Hope's story also includes facts about the settlement before his hirth, in 1858, gathered from plans in the possession of the Department of Lands and Surveys, in which he was employed for many years, until the end of 1920.
Mr. Hope was induced to enter on the following narrative when shown a copy of the first authentic plan of Perth, taken from the actual survey, and bearing the signature "A. Hillman, Colonial Drafts- man, February 12. 1838." Mr. Hope ob- tained the permission of the Surveyor General (Mr. J. P. Camm) to examine old plans in the possession of the Lands Department and was assisted in his search by thc custodian (Mr. Ashley Cooper).
"There is a legend that Hay-street was originally 150 links (99ft.) wide," said Mr. Hope, "and that it was curtailed on ac- count of the cost of road-making, but there is no record to support the state- ment. An 1835 plan shows that Hay Street was only 80 links (52ft. O.OOin.) wide, as it is to-day. Murray-street was originally half as wide again as now, and it was narrowed later on thc northern side. The distance between Hay-street and St. George's-terrace is 560 links (369ft. 7.20in.), and between Hay-street and
Murray-street it is the same, but be tween Murray-street and Wellington-street the length is now 610 links (402ft. 7.20in.),
which bears out that the width of Mur-
ray-street was reduced by 50 links (33ft.). A plan for the use of the road trustees of the town of Perth, dated September, 1838, shows that Murray-street was then 150 links (99ft.) wide, and Hay-street had its present width of 80 links. Hay-street east of Barrack-street was then known as Howick-street. The plan shows that it was 66ft. wide, but it was subsequently re- duced to 52ft. 9.60in., making it uniform with Hay-street."
Referring to the bend between St. George's-terrace and Adelaide-terrace, Mr. Hope pointed to the accompanying plan by Mr. Hillman, who was the first Assistant Surveyor. It had been stated by Mrs. J. H. Roe, daughter-in-law of the first Surveyor-General (Captain Roe), that the reason for the break was the presence of a swamp on the north- ern side of Adelaide-terrace, but the plan did not allow it, and, on account of its completeness of detail, he thought it would have been indicated if it had existed there. Captain Roe's house was near the north-eastern corner of Adelaide-terrace and Victoria-avenue, and the belief in the
The first authentic plan of Perth In the Department of Lands and Surveys, signed by A. Hillman, Colonial Draughtsman, February 12, 1838. '
Second Swamp and Third Swamp (Hyde Park Lake) have been Inserted to Illustrate part of the accompanyino narrative.
Lands Department was that Adelaide-ter- race had been made narrower on the north- ern side to avoid interfering with the build- ing, which, in those days, was worth about £200. However, he did not regard the nar- rowing of the street as any reflection on Captain Roe, because in those and later years there was every ground for pessi- mism regarding the future of Perth.
Old Barracks and Gaol.
Dr. J. S- Battye, said Mr. Hope, had slated that the first gaol site was iu Gov- ernment House grounds, but a plan show- ed that it was at the corner of Pier street and St. George's-terrace, the site
of the present deanery, some of the walls of which, according to early rumour, were part of the old gaol. The same plan showed that the military officers' quarters were on the ground occupied by the Burt Memorial Hall, in portion of which the keep was retained. The northern portion of Cathedral-avenue was over the western part of the site of the old St. George's Church, which faced south, and some of the foundations of the building were now under the road. Thc military barracks stood on the site of the old post office, now occupied by the Mines Department and the Treasury. The building was close to the corner, in St. George's-Terrace, but
later the barracks was built in Barrack street, about where the Tourist Bureau now stands. The original State girls' school in Pier-street, opposite thc As- sembly Hall, appeared on a plan dated October, 1851.
An 1852 plan showed thc Commissariat; on the sile of the existing Supreme Court buildings, batteries being indicated at the side. The old Courthouse, later used as the Supreme Court, and in recent years as the Arbitration Court, appeared on the same plan.
"The barracks now used by the Public Works Department at the top of St,
George's-terrace, were built in the early '60's by a contractor named Halliday, who has several descendants in Perth to-day," said Mr, Hope. "The Government's treat- ment of the contractor, however, caused much adverse comment. The barracks consists of two wings. Halliday made his estimate for one wing, and, forgetting to double it, sent in his tender. The Govern- ment Architect saw that Halliday had made a mistake, but bound him to the contract. Halliday became bankrupt, and his sureties took his property, and com- pleted the building. The place caught fire in 1873, but when the hoses were filled with water they cracked, and the build- ing was partially destroyed, although the walls remained standing."
How Hyde Park was Saved.
The existence of Hyde Park lake to-day seems to have been dependent on an inci- dent 55 years ago. "The Governor of that period," said Mr. Hope, "instituted the drainage of the chain of lakes from Claise Brook to Third Swamp (Hyde Paek lake) by prison labour. The drain was extended from Claise Brook along Edward-street and Stirling-street.
"A plan dated 1818 shows that the land now occupied by the Technical School was originally in the possession of H. W. Reve- ley, who purchased it for a water mill site in August, 1832," continued Mr. Hope. "The mill stood about 100ft. back from Bazaar-terrace, and was run by water from a large pond behind where the school now stands. The pond was fed by an under- ground drain from Lake Kingsford up to about the 60's, when it was filled in owing to the drowning of a school boy.
"In 1865, when whales were caught in the harbour, there was a boiling down es- tablishment at North Fremantle, near tlie present wheat sheds. I can remember being in. St. John's Church on Sunday when it was not unusual for a man to walk up the aisle and touch men on the shoulder. It meant that there was a whale in the roads. The men would walk out quietly; The boiling down plant existed there for many years, and I think I saw remains of it 10 years after we left Fre- mantle for York in 1805.
Fremantle to York.
"In that year prisoners were building the present traffic bridge, means of com- munication between Fremantle and North Fremantle, consisting of a box ferry drawn by ropes handled by prisoners. I think our family made the river trip to Perth in the Lady Stirling, from which we land- ed at the William-street jetty, the shore end of which exists to-day. We stayed the night at,the Freemason's Hotel, which was kept by Sir Walter James's father. Next day we travelled to Guildford by a "puffing Billy" paddle boat with a steam cylinder on each side of a stern paddle. The journey lasted all day, and the next three days was spent in a spring cart go- ing to York, where I saw the assembling of Hunt's second expedition to Hampton Flains goldfield in 1866."